Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Conflicting dates about when JLP councillor resigned

Published:Friday | July 7, 2017 | 7:00 AMLivern Barrett

Fourteen days after he was elected as a councillor in last November's local government election, Dean Jones used a letter dated a month before the poll to resign his state job, an official testified yesterday.

Janet Morgan Rogers, administrator of the Coroner's Court in Kingston, said that up to the time of the resignation, Jones was employed to the state agency Court Management Services (CMS) as a judge's orderly. Morgan Rogers was testifying in the Supreme Court in the election petition that seeks to disqualify Jones from serving as councillor for the Yallahs Division in the St Thomas Municipal Corporation.

 

FILED PETITION

 

The petition was filed by Constantine Bogle, the People's National Party (PNP) candidate he defeated. Bogle is contending that at the time of the election, Jones was a public servant and did not live in the division, both conditions being in contravention of the local government statute.

Morgan Rogers, who was responding to questions from Bogle's attorney, Bert Samuels, recounted that on December 12 last year, two weeks after the election, Jones visited her office and handed her his letter of resignation, which was dated October 25.

She acknowledged, too, that Jones wrote in the letter, "Please accept resignation from my post effective October 26.

"I hope this two-week notice gives sufficient time for you to find a replacement," he added, according to her testimony. Morgan Rogers testified that she raised concerns about the date of the letter and the date it was handed to her but could not recall Jones's response or the discussion.

Despite this, she cited the attendance register at the Coroner's Court to support her testimony that in the days after his resignation, Jones continued to report for duties at the court's Sutton Street offices. Bobette Dawkins, senior director for human resources and administration at CMS, also testified that a perusal of the records showed that Jones was being paid by CMS up to last December.

Dawkins testified, too, that Jones applied for 33 vacation days two weeks before the election and listed his address as Braeton in St Catherine. However, during cross-examination by Jones's attorney, Marvalyn Taylor Wright, she said that that was the address on file for Jones since 2010.

The hearing continues today.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com